Getting bug-eyed

Dragonfly

Given all the time we spend in the field, we constantly observe new and interesting natural occurrences. On a recent trip to Lake Almanor in Northern California, one of our biologists witnessed something remarkable. Every five feet along a rocky bank, dragonfly nymphs were crawling out of the water, undergoing part of their metamorphosis. While some newly emerged adults were just taking their first breaths above water, others were unfolding and drying out their wings prior to their first flight. Seeing this as a great opportunity to get some up-close “portraits” of adult dragonflies, our biologist did what any dedicated photographer or natural scientist would do: stake out a prime vantage point by lying flat out (and quite uncomfortably) in the mud and rocks. It’s not often that adult dragonflies remain still for so long. While the insects got their bearings, we took the opportunity to go eye-to-eye for a few good shots that were well worth the dirty clothes.